Pete Sixsmith may be busy on the Saturdays before Christmas but on the weekdays he leaves the work to his helpers and heads off to find a game. Luckily for him there are a few coming up. This one, though it might give Pete a break, is one the rest of us didn’t really want. Was it worth his time? Come back tomorrow for a full report; and while you’re waiting you might ponder on his post-whistle seven word text:
11 December FA Cup 2nd Round replay Sunderland 0 (0) Walsall 1 (0) Pedestrian performance that raises some serious doubts
8 December Accrington Stanley A (0) Match Abandoned Sunderland (0) Wet, wet, wet and to do again
4 December Sunderland A (a) Notts County b (B)
1 December Walsall 1 (0) Sunderland 1 (0) *Fifteen minutes of Walsall pressure means replay
Nov 27 Sunderland 4 (3) Barnsley 2 (1) An important win with some shaky moments
Nov 24 Walsall 2 (2) Sunderland 2 (2) Even more heroic than Thermopylae and Agincourt
Nov 17 Sunderland 1 (0) Wycombe Wanderers 1 (0) A fair result after a disappointing performance
Nov 13 Morecambe 0 (0) Sunderland 1 (0) Left it late but the run continues
Nov 11 Port vale 1 (1) Sunderland 2 (2) Negotiated a tricky tie successfully. Southport next?
Nov 3 Plymouth Argyle (0) 0 Sunderland (0) 2* Solid team performance earns another away win*
Oct 27 Sunderland 3 (1) Southend United 0 (0) Three goals and another clean sheet. Great
Oct 23 Doncaster Rovers 0 Sunderland 1 (0) Winning ugly is just fine by me.
Oct 20 Shrewsbury Town 0 (0) Sunderland 2 (0) A comfortable win that just oozed professionalism
Oct 6 Bradford City 1 (0) Sunderland 2 (1) Great win but Power made it difficult
Oct 2 Sunderland 2 (1) Peterborough 2 (0) Good point but spoiled by woeful refereeing
Sept 29 Coventry City (0) 1 Sunderland (0) 1 Fair result that could have been worse
Sept 22 Sunderland 4 (3) Rochdale 1 (0) Fifteen minute purple patch wrapped this up
Sept 15 Burton Albion 2 (2) Sunderland 1 (o) Weaknesses horribly exposed in a deserved defeat
Sept 8 Sunderland 1 (1) Fleetwood Town 1 (1) Huffed and puffed against very difficult opponents
Sept 4 Sunderland 0 (0)  Stoke City U21s 0 (0)  *Decent workout for young guns and recoverees
Sept 8 Sunderland A (a) Fleetwood Town B (b)
Sept 1 Sunderland 1 (0) Oxford United 1 (1 ) Poor first half, dug in well second
Aug 19 Sunderland 3 (3) Scunthorpe United 0 (0) Iron pummeled as three lusty blows delivered
Aug 16 Carabao Cup: Sunderland (0) 0 Sheffield Wednesday (1) 2 Result disappointing but plenty to enthuse about
Aug 11 Luton Town (0) 1 Sunderland (1) 1 Played well in patches against solid opposition
Aug 4 Sunderland (0) 2 Charlton Athletic (1) 1 A great day for club and academy
July 21 St Mirren (0) 0 Sunderland (2) 6 * Cracking results like this will suit fine
July 17 Grimsby Town (0) Sunderland (1) 1 *Gooch’s header from Maguire’s cross settles matters
July 14 Hartlepool United (1) 1 Sunderland (0) 1 Yet to see anything to inspire confidence
July 10 Darlington (1) 1 Sunderland (0) 0 Embarrassing
3 thoughts on “Sixer’s Walsall Sevens: Third time unlucky? Maybe not.”
I drove for 6 hours from Swindon to get to the game yesterday, all the way pretty convinced that, following the abandonment on Saturday, I was wasting my time as we were not going to try too hard. I would have given it a miss but the tickets were bought, arrangements made, 1/2 day worked on Saturday morning so I could leave at lunchtime, etc, before the washout.
It was, in fact, better than I thought as we seemed to try until they scored but we certainly gave the impression after that of not wanting extra time.
While I understand the thinking (and the crowd backs up the relative priorities), it hurts, as in year’s gone by we would have taken thousands to Bolton in the next round and really fancied beating a team from the league above. I really hate what the FA has allowed the FA Cup to become.
In fact, Jack Ross had a good night. Portsmouth lost and he learnt a lot about his players:
1) Watmore is not ready to start a league game but is not too far off. Hopefully he will soon remember what he learnt shortly before the first injury which is to sometimes lift his head while he is running with the ball and see where his team mates are.
2) Sinclair is now so short of confidence (and a target for numpties) that he cannot be risked at home and probably away
3) O’Nien can defend as a right back but has an enormous amount to learn about what to do in the other half so is probably not an option
4) Bali Mumba deserves more game time
5) Cattermole is very rusty (or was told to pass sideways and backwards only – I prefer to think the former)
6) We need to find another option to the centre backs bringing the ball out, as neither of them could hit a barn door from 5 yards away. Wycombe almost beat us by pressing everyone else and letting the centre backs give them the ball back and Walsall had obviously seen that and did the same. This has to be fixed, and quickly, as I am sure everyone in the division now knows this simple tactic.
7) McGlaughlin is utter class and needs to be offered an improved contract!
Again, while I can understand and reluctantly agree with the priorities, what last night’s defeat certainly did was turn Saturday into a must not lose game.
Well said Dave. Can;t fault your analysis.
Just 8,200 or so in the ground tells it’s own story about how much this mattered to supporters. A sad indictment of a historically great competition
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